Editor’s Pick: International Women’s Day Edition

By Jay Hodgkins

“International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity,” according to the International Women’s Day organization.

At the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, recently named by Financial Times as a Top 10 MBA program for women in the United States, the School is committed to creating an ecosystem in which women thrive. For example, by awarding women’s scholarships, Darden not only celebrates the next generation of female leaders but also creates a richer learning experience

To help celebrate some of the great achievements by women from the Darden community, The Darden Report is sharing three stories of success from the past year:

Women’s Center Names Save the Children CEO as 2017 Distinguished Alumna

As president and CEO of the global nonprofit Save the Children, Carolyn Miles (MBA ’88) is helping improve lives for literally millions of the worlds most vulnerable people. For her compassionate and successful efforts, UVA’s Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center named Miles its 2017 Distinguished Alumna.

Under Miles’ leadership, the number of children Save the Children reaches has more than doubled, to 165 million in 120 countries, including the United States. Its programs provide nutrition, health, education and other services. Miles travels regularly to be involved directly in these programs, going to places such as Syrian refugee camps in nearby countries.

Political analyst Cokie Roberts, a member of the Save the Children Board of Trustees, wrote that after reading the UVA Women’s Center’s mission statement, she thought Miles could not be a more appropriate recipient.

“Your goals of fostering the respect, safety and dignity of women and girls, working for gender justice, developing leadership and working with partners for social change describe Carolyn’s daily life,” Roberts wrote.

UVA Darden Welcomes Class of 2019, Including Most Women Ever

Diversity was the theme when Darden welcomed 326 First Year full-time MBA students to Grounds on 21 August. At 39 percent, the class tied the high water mark for highest percentage of women ever, while 36 percent of Class of 2019 students are born outside the U.S. and 20 percent are domestic minorities

Women Encouraged to ‘Opt-In to Finance’ at UVA Darden

Darden’s student-run Graduate Women in Business club invited four alumnae working in finance — an industry in which women remain underrepresented — to return to the School for a One Darden Week panel, Why Women Should Opt-In to Finance.

Given the still comparatively small number of women at major finance industry firms, panelists said women have an opportunity to make a direct impact and differentiate themselves. Sasha Kelemen (MBA ’17), an investment banking associate at Goldman Sachs, said her opinion was constantly sought out by fellow associates and partners alike.

“I have been the only woman at the table several times, but have never walked away without sharing my perspective,” she said.

One of the benefits of being a woman in finance is that your perspective and actions often stand out, panelists said.

“Our comments are not easily overlooked,” Kelemen said. “If anything, we enrich the experience and help drive the business forward.”

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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Sophie Zunz
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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia